John McMahon 'couldn't resist chance' to join Liverpool FC

05 September 2009 07:00
'I couldn't resist the chance to come home'

JOHN McMAHON leapt at the chance to return to Merseyside this summer and three months on he hasn't looked back.

The Liverpool-born 45-year-old left behind life as assistant manager at League Two outfit Shrewsbury Town to succeed Gary Ablett as the Reds' reserve team boss.

McMahon is charged with developing the group of youngsters assembled from around the world who make up the second string squad.

The primary objective is to try to provide Rafa Benitez with a steady stream of talent and results are of secondary importance.

McMahon, who works alongside new reserves coach Antonio Gomez Perez, boasts a wealth of experience having spent eight years on the coaching staff at Tranmere Rovers during which he had two spells as caretaker manager. He moved on to Shrewsbury in 2006 and is now relishing a very different challenge.

'This was a job I just couldn't refuse,' he said.

'I'm really enjoying it and every day is different.

'I'm working with new faces and trying to get the lads organised and working as a team rather than as individuals.

'To work with a manager of the quality of Rafa Benitez and an assistant manager like Sammy Lee is brilliant.

'We're in regular contact with staff meetings every day to sort out what we are doing and to decide what players are going where.

'The great thing is we are all one team. From Rafa, Sammy and Mauricio (Pellegrino) to myself and Antonio.

'We are all singing from the same hymn sheet and we all know what the others are doing.'

The days of reserve team matches packed with first team players on the fringes are long gone.

The second string is now full of teenagers looking to make the grade rather than experienced players hoping to take the step back up.

For Wednesday night's first home match in the Premier Reserve League North at Prenton Park, 20-year-old right-back Stephen Darby was the elder statesman.

The rest of the starting line up for the 3-1 win over Bolton were teenagers with seven different nationalities on show.

McMahon's job is to help ensure they realise their potential.

Source: Liverpool_Echo